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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  June 8, 2018 8:59am-10:32am EDT

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obama did that. keep in mind that he was operating and dealing with a republican-controlled congress for the last six years of office. in terms of what you say socialized medicine, under the act, we are talking about private insurers. we are talking about making sure people who can't afford health care get access to health care. it is private insurers who are providing the health care. it is not socialized medicine. i served in the military. my health care -- that was socialized. they came from the military. the act is a system that works with private insurers. host: congressman ted lieu sits on the judiciary and foreign affairs committee. thank you for the conversation. guest: thank you. host: we believe it at that point because the house is about to gavel in here early on this friday morning further legislative session. that does it for today's
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"washington journal." thank you for watching and enjoy your weekend. we will bring enough the house, live coverage here on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: "washington journal" [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., june 8, 2018. i hereby appoint the honorable roger w. marshall to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, monsignor stephen j. rossetti, catholic university of america, washington, d.c. e chaplain: god and gracious god, the psalm reminds us that the lord is the earth in its
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fullness, the lord knows who dwells in it. indeed, it bears the creation of your beauty and your love. may your spirit guide the work of our hands to nurture and love the people of this earth and the beautiful world that sustains them. we make this prayer in the power of your spirit and in your holy name. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the journal stands approved. mr. thompson: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i
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object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from florida, mr. dunn. mr. dunn: please join me. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, too many americans find themselves in crust and life threatening situation as a result of domestic violence. victims need access to emergency
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helter, crisis counseling, and advocate services. that's why i was proud to introduce h.r. 6014, the family violence prevention and services act of 2018, with my colleagues, ms. sentatives gwen moore, stefanik. since it was enacted, the act has addressed necessaryic violence through community driven solutions and network of programs and services dedicated to responding to domestic violence across the country. one example is the national domestic violence hotline. the hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and available in 170 languages. it provides crisis intervention counseling and safety planning, and can directly connect calls to a seamless referral system on more than 4,500 community programs across the united states. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation. domestic violence has no place in our society and we must stand up for victims and work to
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eradicate domestic violence for good. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition. >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> warm in here. mr. speaker -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, there is joy in the washington capital region today. when i get up in the morning every day and i read the front page of the "washington post," i say, oh, my goodness. today, i read the front page of the "washington post". today. at last, capitals with alex ovechkin holding the stanley cup high celebrates. mr. speaker, i was in the maryland state senate in 1973
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and one of the great citizens of our region, abe pollin said to us, to me, and to others, we want to build an arena in prince george's county. it was called the capital center. and in 1974 abe pollin brought hockey to the washington metropolitan area. abe pollin died not too long ago. before he died he sold the caps to ted leonecies -- leonis, abe and ted are ecstatic today. 44 years. and now we're the national champions. mr. speaker, i rise with great joy and excitement to celebrate the tremendous victory last night by the washington capitals in the stanley cup finals. the caps have an extraordinary season and brought home a for the national capital
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region. its for the national capital region. its first major sports championship since 1992. when team captain alex ovechkin raised the stanley cup over his head last night, he did so on behalf of thousands upon of capss upon thousands fans across our region, including, of course, my district. that moment came after a 4-3 victory over an extraordinary team. the las vegas golden knights, who in their first season as an expansion team in the national hockey league became the first team to have come to the finals in that status. they had a magnificent season. their own exciting path to the finals during their inaugural season. as a celebration -- as the celebrations continue from last night into the day and overle coming days, i offer my congratulations to the players, coaches, managerial staff, and my thanks to all the fans who
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made the caps victory possible. i hope my colleagues, dare i say, even the ones from nevada, will join me in congratulating them as well. alex ovechkin was chosen as the most valuable player having scored 15 goals in the playoffs. and i want to say one last thing. .y father was born in denmark larserly, a member of the washington capitals, -- lars eller, a member of the capitals, lives in denmark and scored the winning goal. the colors of the danish flag as some of you may know are red and white. how appropriate, how wonderful. how grateful we're. for the vision of abe pollin and e sponsorship of ted lee kwloneis. having used my one minute i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair will remind members to appear on the floor in proper ttire. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i was doing exactly that. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition. >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, i rise today to commemorate the 00 -- 136 anniversary of the yack ma nation treaty of 1855. on yune 9 in 1855, the united states entered into an agreement with the confederated tribes and bans of the yaki ma nation this. treaty marked the nation of the a successful relationship between yakimas, federal government, and people of central washington state. i'm proud to display a copy of in my office 1855
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washington, d.c., as a reminder of the federal government's obligations. the yakima's nations presence is evidence in my district. the museum and cultural center visitors udents and an inside look at the history and values of the tribes. yakima warriors associations veteran center provides resources and assistance to veterans on or near the reservation. events and celebrations bring communities together to honor and preserve the nation's cultural traditions. i'm grateful for the input as i work to represent all of central washington. i look forward to continuing to ensure their voices are heard on the important decisions that affect the land that we all love. you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition. >> mr. speaker, i seek one minute.
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unanimous consent. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in -- r of the ill luss tryous illustrious service khmer of a former member, congressman lester wolf, who will soon celebrate his 100th birthday. in recognition to his monumental contributions to our environment and long island's beautiful proposing the renaming of the oyster bay national wildlife refuge to the congressman lester wolf national wildlife refuge. proposing the renaming of the oyster bay these precious wetlands at his urging were protected in 1968. in 1967 the new york state legislature had at the insistence of then governor rockefeller and master planner robert moses authorized a bridge across the long island sound. lester these immediately saw the bridge would soon found himself
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at the center of an enormous political fight. lester won and the oyster bay wildlife refuge was born. lester's efforts in 1968 are an important part of our nation's environmental history. . mr. suozzi: i urge my colleagues to support the renaming to the lester wolf national wildlife refuge and i wish him a happy 100th year and many more. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in support of military construction and veterans' affairs appropriations bill, providing robust funding to the v.a. is a step in the right direction to ensure our veterans receive the best possible care. this legislation increases funding to the v.a. to the highest level ever. that funding will go towards providing for america's heroes. we are increasing funding for homeless veteran services,
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mental health care, suicide prevention, opioid abuse, traumatic brain injury research and treatments, and rural health initiatives just to name a few. mr. dunn: as the son of an army family and army surgeon, i have issues that d many our veterans face. as chairman of the v.a. subcommittee on health, i'm working to instill real changes at the v.a. this means better care for our men and women who have served our nation. funding these important initiatives is a crucial part of repaying those who fought for our freedoms. i urge all of my colleagues to support this important legislation. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from oregon seek recognition. >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. bonamici: in the time i make these remarks, one minute, and every minute after, the equivalent of an entire garbage
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truck full of plastic will be dumped into the oceans. that's about eight million metric tons a year. endangering marine life. a. is world oceans day good time to recommit to protect, coin serve, maintain, and rebuild our oceans and ocean resources. the health of our owe shins reflects the health of our a. good time to planet. we have work to to. oceans absorb co-2 produced by human activity, increasing carbon emissions are stressing the oceans and threatening the livelihood of coastal communities. as oceans become more acidic, shellfish struggle to build shells. oysters and clams are ulnerable. we must invest in research to better understand the challenges to ocean health like ocean acidfication, harmful al ga blooms, marine debris, and overfishing. the ocean is resilient but we
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can't afford to wait. offer my eans day i colleagues join our caucus. thank you, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition. >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, rerned my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in honor of israel's seventh anniversary -- israel's 70th anniversary independence. her relationship is one rooted in shared values and commitment to freedom and democratcy. israel's dedication to political and economic freedom -- free and fair elections and freedom of religion provides a stark contrast with other regimes in the region. mr. palmer: on this anniversary, i also want to recognize the born relationship between israel and the state of alabama. few people know that five years prior to israel gaining independence, alabama became the first, perhaps only state to
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call for the establishment of a jewish state. 75 years ago on june 10, 1943, in the midst of world war ii, the alabama legislature unanimously passed a joint resolution calling for a jewish state and for the jewish people to have the right to self-government and self-determination. since that day, in acknowledgement of support of our mutual values, alabama and israel have maintained a special friendship. indeed, alabama and the united states are proud to call israel our ally and look forward to our continued support of israel and friendship. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. > thanks, mr. speaker. first, do no harm. mr. kilmer: because of the harmful partisan health care politics in washington, d.c.,
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next year a quarter million people in washington state will have to spend 19% more per month on their health insurance. that adds up for a lot of folks. it will add up to the difference of being able to afford health care or not. families in washington state will have less money in their pockets because of the choices to do harm by this congress and this administration. it's a choice to cut as this administration did the federal payments that make health care cheaper for families. it is a choice to obsessively try to dismantle the affordable care act as this house and this administration have done, creating uncertainty and driving up costs. listen, the affordable care act was not perfect but it meant cheaper health care and more people with insurance. let's fix it rather than harm people. rather than partisan attacks that do harm to the health care system and harm to family budgets, let's first do no harm and then let's work together to actually help american families have health care. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. eshoo: thank you, mr. speaker. monday, june 11, will be the first day without net neutrality protections thanks to the trump administration. for the last decade and a half, the internet has become the biggest driver of our economy, of education, access to information, and the conduct of commerce. it all happened under net neutrality because each of us have the freedom to go where we wanted to go, see what we wanted to see, and read what we wanted to read. on monday, the rules to protect an open internet will cease to exist. consumers will no longer be guaranteed that they can choose to go where they want to go or what they want to do online. businesses can be made to pay tolls to reach their customers.
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the huge internet service providers can reign with impunity over the most important tool in our community and our democracy. over all the years i've represented my silicon valley district, i've never had a constituent or a company ask me to turn total control of the internet over to the i.s.p.'s. congress can act to prevent this takeover. that's why i'm a co-sponsor of the congressional review act resolution, a bill to disable the administration's giveaway of the internet. i urge my colleagues to stand on the right side of history with millions of americans and do the same. yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks mr. carter: and include extraneous material on the further consideration of h.r. 5895 and i may include tabular aterial on the same. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 923 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 5895. will the gentleman from kansas, mr. marshall, kindly take the chair. the chair: the house is in the
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committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 5895, which the clerk will report the title. the clerk: a bill making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2019, and for other purposes. committee when the of the whole rose on june 7, 2018, amendment number 27 house in part b of report 115-712 offered by the gentleman from kentucky, mr. barr, had been disposed of. it is now in order to consider amendment number 28 printed in art b of house report 115-712. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. carbajal: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 28 printed in part b of house
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report 115-712 offered by mr. carbajal of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentleman from california, mr. carbajal, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. carbajal: thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment seeks to provide additional funding for the veterans transportation program which would provide additional resources for the highly rural transportation grants, beneficiary travel and veterans transportation service. a major challenge facing veterans across the nation, including the central coast of california, is the lack of access to transportation when trying to get their medical appoint -- to their medical appointments. this is especially prevalent in districts like mine where veterans don't live in close proximity to a major v.a. medical center. available transportation at the local community-based
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outpatient center is a constant challenge as there are an insufficient number of buses and drivers. currently, there is only one bus serving in my sdriket and one bus must make six stops before reaching the v.a. hospital in los angeles. once there, veterans only have a short window of time to attend all their appointments before needing to rush back to the bus to catch their transportation home. many cases, with these time constraints, veterans are unable to fit all of their necessary appointments into one day and must again struggle with transportation to get back to the hospital. passage of this amendment would provide more transportation solutions for our veterans, allowing them to get to their medical appointments on time and receive proper medical care without the fear of being left behind, unable to get back home. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. i reserve my time.
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the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. carter: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition although i will not oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: thank you. we understand the gentleman's concerns and we will certainly keep them in mind during conference and i yield such time as she may consume to my colleague, ms. wasserman schultz. ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. chairman, in 2017, the v.t.p. program transported 357,331 veterans of which 100,000 were disabled veterans. 's core p. service mission is improvement to access to care and assist veterans in overcoming transportation barriers to accessing services. v.t.p. has joint efforts with v.a.'s office of rural health
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and veterans service organizations. this is a valuable program that's clearly been recognized and highlighted by the gentleman from california that helps veterans who are visually impaired, elderly due to disease and disability and those living in remote or rural areas. at the time at the v.a. where we're struggling to make sure both in terms of the amount of times veterans have to wait to get an appointment and the difficulty in getting through a long distance to get that service, this is an important amendment. i appreciate the gentleman from california's contribution and strongly support it and yield back to the chairman. mr. carter: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. carbajal: thank you. i would just appeal to my colleagues that thank you for your service is just not enough anymore for our veterans. we need to step up. we need to make sure that they know we are here and we have their back when they need the services at the end of their
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tenure in the armed services. this is an important amendment. i urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 29 printed in part b of house report 115-712. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. keating: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 29 printed in part b of house report 115-71 offered by mr. -- hydropower hydropower 712 offered by mr. -- house report 115-712 by mr. keating of
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massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keating, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. mr. keating: thank you, mr. speaker. my amendment will allocate funding for the v.a. to create an opioid abuse health care kit for community health care providers. care to our military veterans does not stop. we welcome home thousands from all over the world, we must help those who suffer from chronic pain with the help they need. it's the responsibility of this congress to do our part to ensure that receiving the level of health care they -- they are receiving the level of health care they deserve. according to v.a. data, despite the number of opioid prescriptions at the v.a. declining -- and that's the good news since 2012 -- the number of veterans with opioid use disorders have spiked 55%
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between 2011 and 2016. additionally, the american public health association found that veterans are twice as likely to overdose on prescription opioids as the general population. veterans health administration has taken initial steps to combat the growing opioid crisis by rolling out the opioid safety initiative for v.a. health settings. and the v.a. has also begun to publish tool kits for its community health providers so they better understand why terans are looking to them for help. this will take this a step further. it will direct the v.a. to utilize the opioid safety resources already available at the v.a. and create a similar opioid tool kit for health care providers at civilian facilities who help veterans with opioid use disorders. this is even more important, mr. chairman, because of the
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establishment of the veteran choice programs. the tool kit will provide safe prescribing practices, provide additional resources for effective pain management and will ultimately save lives. i urge my colleagues to join me with me in support of this, and i yield one minute to my colleague from florida, ms. wasserman schultz. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i support the efforts by the gentleman from massachusetts to combat opioid abuse which really has been a scourge in every region of this country and has left almost no region in this nation untouched. the rates of prescription opioid misuse and overdose continue to increase sharply and prescription opioids are now the leading cause of death in the united states. in fact, mr. chairman, we are about to reach the third year in a row that life expectancy in the united states will have gone down and that is the first time that has happened since
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all the way back to bordallo war i, and it can be directly attributed to opioid abuse and the result -- back to world war i and it can be directly attributed to opioid abuse. this amendment can save lives. i support the amendment and i yield back to the gentleman. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. mr. keating: i thank the gentlelady and i reserve and yield back. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. carter: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition although i will not oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized, without objection. mr. carter: this bill includes $387 million for opioid treatment and prevention efforts. we understand the gentleman's concern. we'll keep them in mind during conference. may i say, having been a criminal trial judge for many years, dealing with prescription drug abuses and treating prescription drug abuses is one of the hardest
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things we have to deal with in the criminal law. it's something about the mental attitude towards a prescription that causes people to think it's safe, and this abuse that's going on in this country, we have to do something about it. so i commend the gentleman. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. keating: i thank the gentleman from texas. we'll work together on this going forward and hopefully this amendment will move us in that direct further. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the entleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. . it is now in order to consider amendment number 30, printed in part b of house report 1915-721. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition. mr. keating: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will
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designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 30, printed in part b of house report number 115-712, offered by mr. keating of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keating, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes of the the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. keating: thank you , mr. chairman. i rise to offer an amendment that would direct health care providers with v.a. affiliation to continue their efforts at continuing education courses in specific areas to manage pain, opioid, and substance abuse disorders. nationally about 30% of americans have some form of chronic pain. however, that percentage of veterans who report chronic pain is significantly higher. over 50% of elderly veterans report chronic pain, as do 60% of veterans returning from current conflicts. in fact, chronic pain is the most common medical problem experienced by returning combat
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veterans over the last decade. of course, pain is not a stand alone problem. we're increasingly aware of the mental health, the hidden wounds consequences stemming from time and combat. veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder, brain trauma, are more likely to report physical pain and in turn more likely to receive a prescription for opioids. likewise, approximately one out of every three veterans seeking treatment for substance use tiss order also have -- substance use disorder also have ptsd. my amendment address this is challenge helping those to health care service to veterans to learn the latest pain management techniques. and spot the signs of potential behavioral health conflicts and challenges, including substance abuse disorders.
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further, my amendment recognize v.a. health care providers already need continuing education credits to maintain their state issued professional licenses. the amendment does not, does not add to the total number of credits that prescribers already have to take. it simmably makes sure that appropriate time is spent learning about this important issue. my constituents are fortunate in massachusetts because we have state laws that deal with this and require that kind of continuing education on this matter. however, in the other part of my district, southwestern portion, most of the veterans in that area go to the rhode island veteran center. in rhode island this is not covered by the state. health care professionals in providence, rhode island, already have pain medications available but no guarantee they are taken.
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there is a recommendation but no garneteesm my amendment simply -- guarantee. my amendment simply makes sure our veterans get that guarantee. i urge my colleagues to join in amendment.this -- guarantee. rib. i yield to the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentleman for yielding. pain management education for the prescription of opioids in the amendment. rib. i yield to the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentleman for yielding. pain management education for the prescription of opioids in the v.a. could help with opioid abuse, that's clear. the v.a. has guidelines regarding the management of opioid therapy for chronic pain and provides clear and comprehensive evidence
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incorporating current information and practices for practitioners throughout the d.o.d. and the v.a. health care systems. these guidelines are provided, mr. chairman, to minimize harm and increase patient safety in patients that require opioid therapy. these guidelines only work if a. rib. i yield to the gentlelady from florida adequately trained. the prescriber is that's why the gentleman from massachusetts' amendment would be so helpful because we all know that the key to making sure that's why the that we can reach people and maximize the effectiveness of a program is to ensure that the appropriate and significant training is done so that we can achieve those goals. i support this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. mr. keating: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition. >> i claim time in opposition although will i not oppose this amendment. the chair: without objection. >> we understand the gentleman's concerns and keep him in mind during conversation. yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman is recognized. mr. keating: i thank the gentleman from texas, another area where we can keep working together to help veterans. this amendment will bring us forward in that task. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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it is now in order to considered amendment number 31 printed in house report number 115-712 for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition. miss johnson: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 31, printed in part b of house report number 115-712, offered ms. eddie bernice johnson of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. johnson, and a member opposed, each will control five ms. eddie bernice texas. the chair: minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the ranking member for her help on this issue. i appreciate the opportunity to speak about an issue that's very important to my constituents and of course to me. i began my career as a nurse where i provided hands on patient care for 15 years at the
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dallas veterans administration hospital. i actually opened the psychiatric service. i rise today regarding an issue that is prevalent in my district and more likely coming around the country. the department of veterans affairs delaying sometimes for years payments for services that have been authorized by the v.a. and performed subject it their requirements. small business vendors depend on timely payments in order to pay or their services -- pay their employees and conduct business agreed to perform for the price the v.a. has agreed to pay. veterans in their care is very important to me, and one thing i have noticed in agreed to perfom for the price the v.a. has my c at the v.a. and here in congress, that it is important that getting the payment, whatever and wherever it's owed, and whether that is a veteran
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physician or contractor is important. i could talk about a number of things about the v.a., but one of the things that is really hurting veterans is the delay of payment of vendors that render service. the other week one of the small vendors came into my office and said he was still waiting for payment from 2015. these vendors for the most part offer services to the veterans away from the hospital. it should not take that long for them to be paid. it's ruining the home health care program because they can the not continue year after year to deliver this care without getting paid. and many of the small vendors have stopped servicing the veterans because they never see payment in sight. that is a major issue which i came to speak about today. fee-base care is preapproved by the v.a. and veteran. v.a. facility and provider are aware of the costs of the care being performed. there should not be a delay in delivering payment for essential
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services provided to the veteran. many of these small business vs. to file lawsuits, get -- businesses have to file lawsuits, get attorneys to retrieve their money. many of them have been put out of business and made up their mind they cannot service veterans because they cannot get paid in a timely manner. two or three years late for payment is a long time for small businesses. my concern is this slow walking of claim payments endemic throughout the v.a. and veterans are being held responsible for the delay, not all contractors are as savvy as my constituent and might not know what the next step should be to resolve these issues. my amendment is designed to encourage the v.a. to report on the number of vendors who are being held hostage to slow payment around the country and how much money is being tied up in these delays. these small vendors cannot survive these long delays in getting paid. we need to know how big the
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problem is and how we can figure out how to fix it. thank you, mr. chairman. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition. ms. wasserman schultz: i rise to claim time in opposition even though i am not opposed to the amendment. the chair: without objection. ms. wasserman schultz: the gentlewoman from texas has identify add very important issue, one that was brought to my attention in sharp relief by my own hospital association just yesterday. the problem in florida, we're now the third largest state in the union, and the hospitals in y home state are owed at least $134 million in payments that have not been paid by the v.a. i don't care how big your operation is, that is a tremendous amount of money. and prompt payment is a critical
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issue because we need to make sure that the resources that are appropriated to our health care system and the revenue we need generated to contribute to our economy and the care that we need provided is done so promptly. what we don't want to have happen is health care providers deciding not to provide services outside the v.a. to v.a. patients. and my discussion with him yesterday was that there are health care providers in our state that are starting to decide not to take v.a. patients anymore. and that would be a travesty. the gentlewoman is absolutely correct. waiting two or three years for payment. the kind of length of time we're talking about here, can have a devastating impact, thrick on o small business. v.a.not a new issue at the for example former secretary
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david shulkin started rapid response teams whose goal was to settle the most outstanding bills as quickly as possible. the issue of prompt payments must be addressed as more veterans seek services outside the v.a. it's a tremendous problem and i'm pleased that the gentlewoman has brought it to our attention. raised the issue. v.a. for example former secretary david shulkin we need to know the full scope of v.a. delinquent payments. i support this amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. johnson: i really appreciate the comments of the rim, ms. wasserman schultz, and chairman -- the -- of the ranking member, ms. wasserman schultz, and the chair. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part b of house report 115-752. for what purpose does gentleman from virginia seek recognition. mr. connolly: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 32, printsed in part b of house report number 115-712, offered by mr. connolly of virginia. the chair: pursuant to house rule 923, the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i thank the chair. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: mr. chairman, this should -- this amendment would ensure sufficient funds for the vare office of the inspector general to provide rigorous oversight of the washington, d.c. veterans' affairs medical center. a center that's been plagued with management problems, many of which have been described in
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previous amendments here this morning. the inspector general recently concluded a year-long critical ion into the deficiencies at that certainty. in his final report, issued on march 7 of this year, the i.g. highlighted the leadership failures and pervasive understaffing, underpin widespread issues in inventory management, sterile processing, and patient safety itself. these are our veterans we're talking about. the i.g. found continual mismanagement and protected information and significant government resource, putting them at risk for fraud, waste, and abuse. the report makes clear these failings have persisted for the better part of a decade and like these will not be resolved overnight. following the final report
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release, officials from the u.s. department of veterans affairs briefed house veterans' affairs committee staff the delays in patient care and supply shortages were no longer occurring as of be resolved overnight. following the final report release, officials from the u.s. department of veterans affairs . yet, recent reports show contrary to that that seven procedures were canceled due to supply shortages in february and march of this year. contrary to the department's own claims. the v.a. inspector general has played a critical role in recovering this crisis at the dcva medical center. must ensure that the v.a. i.g. has adequate resources to vare out its essential mandate. the bill before us today meets the president's 2019 budget request of $172 million. however, the v.a. inspector general recently wrote that $172 million will not be sufficient for the i.g. to fully meet its mission of effective oversight on the operations of the vet rabs administration -- veterans administration. furthermore, the i.g. said an f.y.-2018 appropriation much
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$172 million would likely require a decrease of about 28 o.i.g. staff. . this could not be the worst time for it to happen. i know the chair and ranking member share that view. the i.g. staffing at the v.a. is among the smallest ratio of oversight staff to agency staff and the o.i.g. budget represents less than .1% of the total veterans administration budget. this week, the senate appropriations committee voted to fund the i.g. at a level of $192 million for f.y. 2019, and i hope my colleagues will support that higher funding level when this bill gets to conference. we have a sacred obligation to ensure that the men and women who sacrifice so much to defend our freedom receive the highest quality care they can possibly receive. the i.g.'s year-long investigation revealed the d.c.
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v.a. medical center has at times fallen below that standard. we owe it to our veterans not only to address these problems but also to understand how they were allowed to arrive in the first place. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment to this bill and to ensure the highest quality for our veterans who fought for our country and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. wasserman schultz: to claim time in opposition even though i am not opposed to the amendment. the chair: without objection. ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentleman. you just can't make this stuff up. the committee members have been to the d.c. v.a. medical center nice show t on a when i first became ranking member. they leave a good impression but the documented issues at the d.c. v.a. medical center are well-known. i want to just walk our
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colleagues through a few of them because this is how egregious it is, and the gentleman's suggestion through this amendment to make sure that the i.g. take a very close look at what's going on at this medical center is critical. the d.c. medical center was found to pay exorbitant amounts for speculum.00 $900 for a special needle that was available for $250. in one case the medical center rented in-home hospital beds for three patients for three years at a total cost of $877,000. the medical center could have bought the three beds for $21,000. a review of 124 patient records found problems with supplies or instruments between 2014 and 2017. one surgery was cancelled after the patient was already under an theeshia because a retractor was unavailable because it had not been sterilized since the previous use a week earlier.
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a surgeon had to improvise when a tool used to prepare a skin graft was broken and it failed. they had to run to a private sector hospital across the street to borrow mesh. they received more than 1,300 boxes from two warehouses, a large trash dumpster in april, 2017. of those records, 81% contain confidential patient information, including medical scans and records dating to the 1970's. this facility is failing the veterans of the metro d.c. area who deserve better. this is an important amendment. making sure that the v.a. takes care of their patients and is not neglect in the -- or dare elect in their duties -- derelict in their doubties at every single place those veterans are serviced are critical. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. connolly: mr. chairman, i would conclude simply by
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thanking my friend from florida or detailing that horror story. this unfortunately aren't isolated incidents. this is a pattern of shoddy care for our veterans at this center. and we need the i.g. to be doing his work overtime to make sure that these deficiencies are corrected and corrected as soon as possible. and that's the intent of this amendment. again, i thank my friend from texas. i especially thank my good friend, debbie wasserman schultz from florida, for their support of this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: the gentleman deserves credit for bringing this to the house's attention, the outrage at this medical center speaks for itself, and i look forward to making sure that the i.g. has the resources that they need to be able to get to the bottom to help fix this problem and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 33 printed in in b of part b of house report 115-712. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 33 printed in part b of house report 115-712 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: thank you very much. my first order of business is to thank both judge carter and congresswoman wasserman schultz for their leadership and as well for their shepherding this bill that is based and focused on the help for our veterans.
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this past month and coming into the fourth of july and veterans day in november may be are just one or two or three of the times we acknowledge those who have fallen and as well as our veterans, but it really is the responsibility of this country and this congress to acknowledge and work on behalf of our veterans every single day. nd i hold up a picture of army veteran vivian onsa, navy eteran victoria lewis and navy veteran veronica. they met each other in a homeless center. there are homeless veterans every night across this country. my amendment is an amendment to ensure that we will focus the v.a. on its obligation to provide our veterans the assistance needed to avoid
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homelessness. it will help to ensure the rate of homelessness among veterans in the united states does not increase because i believe in reducing and eliminating homelessness among veterans, those who risk their lives to protect our freedom should be one of the nation's highest priority. this teful that particular legislation likewise recognizes the importance of dealing with homelessness and working with the v.a. and its public this particular legislation housing . that is where these individuals were able to find housing through the grant for the permanent housing for homeless veterans. it is important to recognize that perhaps twice as many, 200,000 experience homelessness at some point during the course of the year. today in our country, there are 107,000 veterans, male and female, who are homeless on any given night. even though communities are working very, very hard. i know in my hometown of houston, we work hard to reduce the numbers of homeless
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veterans. many of us work with homeless veterans, attend what we call provide them e we maximum support on the street. we want to bring them off the street but we want to bring the services to them. in 2012 alone, 35,995 veterans lived in public housing provided by this program. so i want to continue this focus and this amendment is to suggest that no matters in this bill, no language in this bill will be in controvention of our programs that deal with our homeless veterans. let me also make the point that a v.a. center has been involved in changing lives in a mighty way by providing veterans and their families with access to affordable housing and medical services that will help to get them back on their feet. i had the privilege of knowing dr. debakely, naming the hospital after him and his whole value and his whole purpose as he continued to do
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magical surgery was to remind us as he created the mass unit in world war ii that our veterans yesterday, today, and tomorrow should be our priority. i reserve my time and ask my colleagues to support this amendment. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. carter: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition although i don't intend to oppose this amendment. the chair: without objection. mr. carter: we understand and commend the gentlewoman's concern about safeguarding the homeless programs. looking at what we've done, what we got in this bill, $7.4 billion in homeless veteran treatment services, housing, and job training. we certainly are going to keep in mind when we go to conference the gentlelady, what she's presented with us here today. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back.
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the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: thank you. let me, again, express my appreciation as i indicated is a very solid and strong stand in this bill providing for our homeless veterans. it is something that we contend with in our city of houston, but we are grateful that the local officials are very concerned about it. i want to make sure as we go to conference that our focus will continue to be on making sure that maybe in our lifetime we extinguish this concept of homeless veterans and homelessness among veterans, providing them with a pathway to opportunity and success. i ask my colleagues to support my amendment, and with that i yield back my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 34 printed in art b of house report 115-712.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: vembing. the chair: -- ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 34 printed in part b of house report 115-712 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chair. mr. chairman, let me explain the jackson lee amendment, which makes a modest but important improvement to the bill by increasing the amount of funding for the support of services for veterans families account by $2 million offset by a certain amount to the $4 billion allocated to the v.a.'s information technology systems. let me read a story that talks about liz who is an army veteran and a single mom. after losing her job she struggled to pay for the rent
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nd provide for her daughter. her land lohr was wearing thin. disheartened with the fruitless job search and unsure where elts to turn, liz came to the veterans outreach center. she was appointed a specialist and an accredited state veterans counselor and the veterans support of services for families -- supportive services for veterans families team. this is a daily occurrence that happens where our veterans are able to go to a supportive team that understands their service, appreciates their plight, and works to help them so they do not go into the cycle of homelessness. i think it is particularly important when we think about veterans and their families. any times single parents, many times disabled or with family concerns, mental health needs, and these services that are provided include health care,
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daily living, legal services, fiduciary and payee services, personal financial planning, childcare, transportation, housing counseling. veterans like the air force veteran who hoping to utilize the skills he learned in the service instead bounce from job to job after being discharged found himself sleeping at night on the cold cement under a bridge in chicago. but, of course, he was able to get support from our veteran support services. this, again, is a valuable statement made by this legislation, and i ask my colleagues to continue to support the services given by this particular program and, again, i hope that we will see the end of homelessness among our veterans and the increase in support services to help them in their pathway to success. with that i ask my colleagues to support and i reserve. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. carter: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in
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opposition although i will not oppose the amendment. the chair: without objection. mr. carter: our bill includes $340 million for the supportive services for veterans families program which is $20 million above the president's budget request. but we understand the gentlewoman's concerns, and we will certainly keep them in mind in conference. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from texas is recognized. . ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman and ranking member for their leadership on this bill and remind my colleagues that these are series of stories of veterans who really needed these services. katie an ssra caseworker received a call from a veteran. sherry was referred by the family assistance advisor at the military service center in bismarck. she didn't know the salvation
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army had the veterans program until she inquired for help. sherry approached them. she's suffered a head injury, blud ng in three inch clots and traumatic brain injury. she was terminate interested her employer. this is the kind of devastating news that will be heard from veterans who will seek and receive this help. i ask my colleagues to support the program overall in my amendment. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question is no the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 35 printed in part b of house report 115-712. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition. mr. walberg: mr. chairman, i
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have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 35, printed in part b of house report number 115-712. offered by mr. walberg of michigan. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. walberg: thank you. i rise today in support of my commonsense amendment to ensure our nation's injurd and amputee veterans will continue to have the ability to choose the prosthesis that best meets his or her health care needs. whether that practitioner is a v.a. employee or a v.a. contracted private provider. the v.a. currently is proposing a rule that i fear will reverse a decades old policy of allowing injured and amputee veterans to choose who provides their
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artificial limbs and ortthodic braces. the v.a. would have the sole authority to make what they describe as this administrative business decision. the choice of a vowvider-- provide certificate a clinical decision and important patient protection. -- provider is a clinical decision and important patient protection. it is imperative we do everything we can to make sure they receive the timely and patient centered health care they have earned and deserve. the care is very intimate and specialized. and correct practitioner for that veteran makes all the difference in the lifestyle the veteran leads. we should do everything we can do in our power to make the often difficult and frustrating transition from service to civilian life as easy as possible. especially when veterans have
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incurred a disabling condition. this has been a very important issue to me and i'd like to take the time to thank my colleague, representative rutherford, for working with me on this amendment. mr. chairman, i would also like to thank both the appropriations committee and veterans' affairs committee for working with me on this important and timely issue. with that i encourage my colleagues to o vote yes and empower our veterans in making their personal health care decision. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition. mr. carter: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition although i will not oppose the amendment. the chair: without objection. mr. carter: we understand that to allay concerns regarding this proposed rule such as the gentleman's v.a. is planning to propose a supplemental rule to amend it.
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but we will monitor the situation and as we move to conference with the senate, we'll keep this in mind and be glad to work with the gentleman. mr. walberg: with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the chairman for his commitment and i certainly respect his position and that he will carry that out. i have legislation to do this, but this is the opportunity to at least make the point. and give some certainty to our veterans that their care has and will be taken in deep and grateful consideration. with that i again would courage my colleagues to support this amendment and empower our veterans in making their personal health care decisions. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the the ayes have it, the amendment s agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 36. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition. ms. eshoo: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 36, printed in part b of house report number 115-712, offered by ms. eshoo of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentlewoman california, ms. eshoo, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. eshoo: thank you, mr. chairman. california, ms. eshoo a will prevent the army from moving forward with of plan to sell 17 acres this amendment federal land and 126 military housing units known as shenandoah square in the heart of my congressional district.
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shenandoah square is located close to move fit -- moffitt federal airfield in mountain view, california, and houses 108 military and civilian families serving in the air national guard, the army national guard, the u.s. navy, the u.s. coast guard, and the u.s. marine corps. established in 2004, shenandoah square is part of the california military community's privatized military housing entity which consists of 2,900 homes located at fort irwin, camp parks, moffitt federal airfield, and shenandoah square. the -- this entity is overleveraged and in hundreds of millions of dollars in debt because of the army's decision to overinvest in housing at fort irwin that assumed greater than realized gains in the basic housing allowance provided to
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service members. now the army is justifying its sale of shenandoah square on the grounds that there is declining demand for military housing in the bay area. but this is hardly the case. in fact, it's absurd. i have met with the families and service members living at shenandoah square who serve in the reeblingon -- region with the air force, army, marine corps, navy, and coast guard. the residents have consistently raised concerns that the property management company contracted by the army has been working to drive out the remaining military personnel living in the shenandoah complex to artificially depress military demand for housing to justify its decision to sell the land. my silicon valley district is facing one of the most severe housing crises in the country and the 17 acres of land that
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shenandoah sits on is some of the most valuable in our entire country. clearly the army is selling shenandoah square to pay down the debt it created and keep the california military communities entity from going bankrupt. this is really wrong. ands to a huge disservice to the military families living in this housing. his house is already on record expressing concerns about the plans to sell shenandoah square. i offered an amendment to the fiscal year 20 19 national defense authorization act, expressing ust-- the sense of congress that the army should explore all possible alternatives to a plans to sell square. i offered an amendment to the fiscal year sale, including subleasing the property to an entity that can better develop affordable housing on the property and the amendment was adopted by a voice vote.
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the army can pursue a win-win situation by subleasing this land to one of the many willing partners in silly con valley seeking to developing housing, and generate a regular stream of income to make this lsm lc whole again, but they refused to. mr. speaker, i want to make something very clear, i would our rt new housing for military families if they included our military families. they are offering housing for eight families when we have 109. i think that this is really unacceptable. we can't allow military families to be left without housing as they serve our country in one of expensive housing markets in the country. that's why i urge my colleagues
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to do the right thing and support this amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance expensive markets in the country. that's why of her time. does any member claim time in opposition? for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition. mr. carter: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition although i will not oppose the amendment. the chair: without objection. mr. carter: the f.y. 2018 omnibus included report language asking the army to look at alternatives for conveying this property. we have yet to receive this report. this amendment has no effect as the underlying bill does not include any funding for the conveyance of this property. for that reason i will not oppose the amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. eshoo: i thank the chairman. i urge my colleagues to support my amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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it's now in order to consider amendment in 37 printed in part b of house report 115-712. froms the gentlewoman from california seek recognition. mr. peters: thank you, mr. chairman. i have an amendment at the desk and ask it address t the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 37, printed in part b of house report number 115-7 12rks offered by mr. peters of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentleman from california, mr. peters, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. peters: than you you, mr. chairman. i rise today to offer an amendment to division i of the appropriations bill related to the department of veterans affairs. in september, 2017, the v.a. issued a plan to shift funding away from programs that helped homeless veterans. after national outcry the proposal was tabled but that
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attempt is the reason for my amendment and the goal is simplet it prohibits taking fund interesting v.a. programs that provide services to homeless veterans, including the homeless providers grant and perfect deam prap. clinical rehabilitation and treatment program. for veteran rvices families program, and h.u.d. housing vouchers. congress has made money available in a bipartisan way to reduce homelessness for veterans. it's unconscionable v.a. would use funds for that purpose on another purpose. daigle scounty -- san diego county has the third largest population nationwide. that's why since being elected i have worked with my colleagues to provide more funding and services to veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. i furthered this work over the last year and a half as a member of the house committee on veterans' affairs. these vets took an oath to protect our country and now america must keep its promise to should notf them and
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be struggling and most certainly should not be living on the streets. san diego has achieved some progress in getting vets off the streets and into housing in recent years. other should not be cities like stimulate city, new orleans, and houston have reached functional zero, which means that homelessness among veterans is rare, brief, and nonrecurring. across the country the problem is still far too prevalent. i ask my colleagues to support this amendment that will help provide valuable resources and protect valuable resource that is our veterans desperately need and i look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fund veterans' homeless programs and make sure federal dollars committed to that purpose are used for that important need. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: does any member claim time in opposition? for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition. ms. wasserman schultz: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition although i do not oppose the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you. the commee opposed the department's tentative decision last fall to convert almost $1 billion of funding for homeless programs from special purpose funding to general purpose
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funding. this action would have been a fundamental change to the manner in which medical care funding was allocated to the field. and i support giving more local flexibility to vetance' integrated service networks. i strongly support transparency when it comes to changing the levels that congress sets for v.a. programs. we are the appropriations institution. we're the one that is makes those decisions. the proposed realignment by the v.a. would potentially risk funding for essential programs such as the supportive services to veteran families program. thankfully after numerous discussion was the committee and public outrage, the department decided not to move forward with its proposal in f.y. 2018. we fully expect for the v.a. to comply with levels we set for programs. if the levels need adjusted, the v.a. must consult congress before they change it. i thank the gentleman from california for his amendment and i believe it sends a strong message to the department it must respect congressional priorities. i urge all members to support the gentleman's amendment. i yield back the balance of my time.
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the chair: gentlewoman yields back. the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. . it's now in order to consider amendment number 38 printed in part b ever house report 115-712. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. ratcliffe: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 38 printed in part b of house report 115-712 printed by mr. ratcliffe of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 923, the gentleman from texas, mr. ratcliffe, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. ratcliffe: mr. chairman, i'd like to thank chairman carter and ranking member wasserman schultz for their hard work on behalf of the 63,000 veterans in my district as well as service members and veterans across the country. mr. chairman, i'm grateful to once again have the opportunity to offer this important amendment which would simply prohibit any funds made available in this act from
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being used to propose, to plan for, or to execute a new or additional round of brac. mr. chairman, i'm privileged to represent the fourth congressional district of texas which is home to the red river army depot. it has supported the war fighter since 1941. although the depot community has weathered a lot of changes over the years, its commitment to mission has remained the same. on the placards inside of every vehicle are the words, we build it as if our lives depend on it. theirs do. the depot is a vital job creator in northeast texas and it's a critical component, mr. chairman, of our national defense. in this fiscal environment we have to be careful stewards of taxpayer dollars and focus our limited resources on addressing critical national security objectives and our military readiness. having another round of brac simply won't help us achieve this goal. to that point, the government accountability office said that the last round of brac back in 2005 cost the american
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taxpayers over $35 billion, which was 67% more than the original cost estimate. starting another round of brac would weaken our capabilities while increasing our vulnerabilities in the face of critical threats facing our nation right now. i'd like to thank my colleagues who have supported this important amendment for the past three years and i look forward having this amendment included in the milcon-va appropriations bill. with that i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. wasserman schultz: to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: mr. chairman, i do oppose this amendment, but i, like many members, have concerns and share the gentleman's concerns about another round of brac, and i realize this is a complex issue for all members of congress, especially those with military facilities in their district. i know that previous rounds of brac have ended up being far more expensive and expansive than we were initially led to believe. however, i have concerns about maintaining the infrastructure that the department of defense
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doesn't need. for example, the estimate of excess capacity for the army is 22%. the air force's estimate of excess capacity is roughly 30%. i can tell you since i became the ranking member of this subcommittee, when i've traveled around the world, almost to a person when we have spoken to a leader on a military base, they have raised the issue of needing to go through another round of brac. both the army and the air force are strong supporters of another brac round. while this amendment has no real effect, it does send a message that congress is unwilling to tackle a tough issue. this amendment is an advocation of our duties as members of this house to ensure taxpayer resources are being used in a wise and responsible way. therefore, i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and have a serious conversation about another brac round. while i am not suggesting we support another brac round, we should not be tying our hands by taking it off the table. so i reserve the balance of my time and urge members to oppose the amendment.
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the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. ratcliffe: i'd like to yield to my colleague from texas, chairman carter. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. carter: i rise in support of the gentleman's amendment. want to reassure my fellow texan that this subcommittee is committed to protecting the installations in the great state of texas. and i will be on top of that. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. ratcliffe: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: mr. chairman, just to reiterate, we shouldn't be taking any method that gives us an opportunity to be fiscally responsible and save money off the table. our friends on the other side of the aisle, you know, consistently talk a good game about being fiscally responsible. blow holes in the deficit by passing massive tax scam legislation of $1.5 trillion deficit expansion, and include amendments like this one that
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prevent the military who have asked repeatedly to be able to at least engage in a discussion about another brac round to save millions of dollars and close facilities that are no longer needed. and yet the last several years, the majority has refused to make the tough decisions and at least have a discussion about this. it's not responsible. certainly not fiscally responsible. so i urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, as we complete debate on this -- these three bills and amendments i'd like to say a few words in closing. mr. frelinghuysen: i know i join my ranking member, mrs.
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lowey, in thanking our colleagues for the very constructive and civil debate over the last couple of days. and i thank the chair. certainly judge carter as well as ms. wasserman schultz and their counterparts for the other two bills for being involved in a -- in work products that have been part of an open and collaborative process. the appropriations committee received over 57,000 member request through our database and through our member day hearings. the majority of which are reflected in the bills that have been discussed over the last couple of days. secondly, now members have the opportunity to further make their mark through the amendment process on the floor. the result after two days here is that we have legislation that truly represents the priorities of the american people. these priorities include caring for our veterans, our troops
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and their families, rebuilding our armed forces and sustaining our national defense, investing in essential infrastructure that grows our economy and creates jobs. i urge all of my colleagues, both republicans and democrats, to support these bills. these are bills that fund federal programs that all americans, especially our veterans and our troops rely on to keep themselves safe, protect their lives and livelihoods and preserve our nation's ideals. these are programs that all of us can support. 2019 895 begins the appropriations process on a strong footing and fulfills our commitment to the american people that we'll get our work done on their behalf. i urge my colleagues to pass the bill as we go ahead to vote in the near future. i yield back the balance of my
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time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair understands that amendment number 39 will not be offered. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. wasserman schultz: i rise as the designee of ranking member lowey to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: mr. chairman, i thank you. i want to thank the chairman of the full committee and our ranking member, mrs. lowey, for the incredible work that they've done to get us to this point. while in the minority, we have had some concerns about the process. the opportunity to work closely side by side with our colleagues, the opportunity that i had to work with chairman dent and looking forward to working with chairman carter is really an example of how we should be working together throughout the entire legislative process. and so i want to thank our staff for doing a really remarkable job on this work product and look forward to
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continuing to conference. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? ms. pelosi: mr. speaker, i rise as the designee of ranking member lowey to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. pelosi: i thank you, mr. chair. i thank you. i acknowledge the work of the appropriators. left to their own devices, they usually can -- as an appropriator myself, i have great respect for the work they do. i have serious concerns about the bill that is on the floor before us today. mr. chair, as you know, a budget should be a statement of our national values. what is important to us as a nation is how we allocate our budget, manifestations in terms of appropriation bills should not be doing harm. this is really a bill, a part sant spending bills that tramples over some of our american values, gutting smart investments in our economy,
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hurting americans' health and endangering families. a ublicans are pushing for minibus appropriations bills that fails to protect the interests of the american people. many of us have been attracted to the political process as -- it parents to do affects public policy to promote the well-being of our children in ways that are bond our own control. we can give them all the love, ttention, care but we cannot get guarantee the quality of the at they breathe, cleanliness of the water that they drink and the world in which they live in terms of the environment. and so i have very serious concerns about the danger posed in the energy and water portion of this bill. it cuts vital clean energy
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initiatives, even as gas prices surge because of the president's reckless policies. it attacks job-creating investments and transformational energy technologies and slashes funding for critical nuclear nonproliferation priorities. in terms of the children that i spoke earlier, this g.o.p. bill also includes unacceptable poison pill riders that permit deadly firearms to be carried on public land. assaults the clean water our children drink, encourages pollution of our oceans, and pushes our nation's already endangered species toward extinction. this bad bill is the first step in the republicans' plan to choke off funding. and this is really the critical part of this for me. choke off funding for vital democratic priorities for america's families. later in the appropriations process, it paves the way for their plan to starve key investments in health, education, and good-paying jobs
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for communities across the country. mr. chairman, the republicans are wasting everyone's tile when we should be focused on meeting the urgent needs of the american people. the majority has spent this entire congress stacking the deck for special interests as they do in these poison pills in this bill while undermining the interest of families. democrats are focusing what matters in the lives of american people. we're committed to giving the american people a better deal, better jobs, better pay, better future and for our children, not to promote air pollution, which is what this bill would do but to eliminate it. i urge my colleagues to join in voting no on this bill for our economy. you know what the sad part of it is, it's so close to doing a better job for the american people. these poison pills take it in the bad direction. the process it was put forth is
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harmful to other priorities that i know we share in a bipartisan way across the aisle. hopefully we can work more closely as we go forward in a bipartisan way. that is the tradition of the appropriations committee. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. frelinghuysen: with all due respect to the minority leader, the process has been collaborative, republicans and democrats. these are the three bills that have historically received both republican and democratic support. they embody american values. what could be more important than looking after our veterans and their families? energy and water infrastructure. we're enormously proud of the work of both the chairs and ranking members, and i urge members, both republicans and democrats, to support these bills as they have historically done and look after the interests of the american people, especially those who
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serve in our military today and those who have paid the supreme sacrifice. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. speaker, i move the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee rise. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the committee rises. the chair: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 5895 directs me to report it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r.
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5895 and has come to no resolution thereon. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess for a period less than 15 minutes.

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